6 Creative Holiday Giving Ideas

Even though the holidays are a few months away, it’s the right time to start planning for any holiday giving that will make the season so much brighter for the organizations you support. With advance planning, charitable gifts can help defray tax expenses, give back to your community, and spread holiday joy. If you’re starting to think about how to give to others this year, we have a few tips for sharing your time, talents, and treasure with organizations you’d like to support.   

1. Teach others an activity you love.

If there’s a sport, hobby, or other activity you’re involved in, see if you can find a local nonprofit that teaches that activity in underserved populations. Qualified instructors who are willing to donate their time and expertise are always needed. Often, hobbies and sports have specialized equipment that is used by participants. If you have gently used gear that could have a second life, plan on donating it to an organization in need. Or, if you have the means, you can purchase new gear or equipment to donate as well.

2. Support new talent in your industry.

If you’re passionate about your career, consider donating your money or time to a business incubator in your field. Your gift could help further the careers of newcomers to the vocation. Serving as a professional mentor for students and young professionals can provide them with a concrete model of what their career could entail. And, giving back professionally can energize your own attitude towards work as well. It’s extremely rewarding to help students discover their talents and hone their skills.

3. Help build and maintain natural spaces.

If you spent time in pristine natural spaces as a child or young adult, a gift towards preserving those spaces can go a long way. Many trails, nature preserves, and parks have seasonal work days that need volunteers. Consider rolling up your sleeves and donning some protective gear to pull invasive plants or perform trail maintenance in the beautiful outdoors.

4. Identify any causes that need special attention this year.

As you plan your end-of-year gifting, reflect back on the last year, and try to think of special groups and organizations that may need extra support. If there was an environmental disaster in a specific region, set aside some of your time or income to help that city or town get back on its feet. Providing meals, funding, or even a special breakfast or lunch for first responders is a great way to give back to those who give so much to the community. Healthcare workers also have high rates of burnout and exhaustion. Charitable gifts to support underfunded hospitals can make a real difference in the lives of patients. You can also give back in more concrete ways. Sending staff meals or treats, writing kind notes to exhausted nurses, or purchasing gift cards for an overworked department are all ways of saying thanks.

5. Keep up regular holiday giving to your favorite causes.

After you’ve identified new groups you want to help this year, don’t forget to also budget for contributions to the causes that mean the most to you. Most of us have a family member who has a personal experience with a debilitating disease. You can support them or their memory by contributing to medical research that could change the lives of people with the same illness.

6. Meet with your financial advisor to plan your holiday giving.

“Timing is everything” is a well-known adage in business deals, but it also applies to charitable giving. With your baseline charitable giving in play, you can always add additional gifts to your favorite nonprofits as your year-end financial picture comes into sharper relief. The timing for end-of-year gifts coincides with the holidays, which is seasonably appropriate for additional gifting. Let your financial advisor guide you as you consider your plan for annual charitable giving. They can offer excellent advice about how strategic divestment can help the organizations you value most while also simplifying your yearly tax burden

Let Southwestern Investment Group Help You Plan Holiday Gifting 

Our financial advisors can help you make the holiday season even brighter by reviewing your finances with you to help create an updated financial plan that aligns with your new goals. Would you like to discuss a new financial strategy? Contact Southwestern Investment Group today to schedule a consultation!

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